Christmas is made a little sweeter every year with the addition of a classic Christmas movie, and luckily, a variety of Christmas films encapsulate many genres and story lines. Films such as “The Grinch,” “Home Alone” and “It’s a Wonderful Life” are well-known, family favorites for the holiday season.
In the animated film, “The Grinch,” the green creature of the same name and his trusty dog, Max, live a lonely life at the top of Mount Crumpit. Due to the years of isolation that the Grinch has experienced, he is resentful of the community and joy that his fellow townspeople experience.
Because of this resentment, the Grinch and his dog are on a mission to steal Christmas from the citizens of Whoville. As he hatches his plan, his encounters with the locals begin to change his perspective on this holiday.
For many, the familiar rhymes of Dr. Seuss are near and dear to us, and these rhymes never fail to bring smiles to our faces and warmth to our hearts.
Further, while this animated film is centrally comedic, it also has a touching underlying message – it emphasizes the value of community. “The Grinch” is a touching film for all ages, as the characters range from young children to seasoned parents.
“Home Alone” shows us the adventures of young Kevin McCallister as he is forgotten at home in his family’s rush to leave for a Christmas vacation in Paris. Ironically, this fulfills Kevin’s wish that his family would simply disappear, so for a few days, he thoroughly enjoys the large house to himself.
Due to a majority of the neighborhood being gone on vacation, two con men, Harry and Marv, plan to take advantage of these families’ absences. Through his wit and creativity, Kevin must find ways to defend his home from a break-in.
In this film, the viewer is constantly kept guessing as to what clever defense Kevin has put into place for the idiotic duo. Again, at its core, this film is incredibly witty and humorous, leaving its audience bursting with laughter. However, the root idea communicated through the narrative is the importance of family.
Released in 1946, “It’s a Wonderful Life” is a classic film to watch over the holidays. In this story, George Bailey sacrifices his dreams of travel to continue the family business in the small town of Bedford Falls.
While his life has many joys, it also has an abundance of struggles. On Christmas Eve in 1945, George considers taking his own life. However, instead of jumping off a bridge to end his life, he winds up saving the life of his guardian angel instead.
Through the subsequent journey, George realizes the value of his life and the impact he has had on the small town of Bedford Falls.
Taking on a more serious tone than the previous two films, “It’s a Wonderful Life” is, again, unified around the idea of community and family. These ideas are portrayed through an older style of acting, which is reminiscent for parents and grandparents and something that makes the younger generation smile at.
In addition to the phenomenal acting, this story effectively builds George’s character, showing the viewer his life growing up, his dreams and his struggles.
All these elements help the audience thoroughly understand not only how George reaches this dark point in his life, but ultimately, the incredible impact he has had on his community and family over the years, making George’s character very personable.
While all three of these movies – “The Grinch,” “Home Alone” and “It’s a Wonderful Life” – span a variety of genres, all three communicate similar themes: family and community are priceless.
Whether it be through laughter, memorable rhymes or heartfelt scenes, each of these classics effectively draws in and warms the hearts of audience members of all ages.